Schott Lithotec AG of Jena, Germany, one of the leading manufacturers of optical materials and components for microlithography, continues on its growth trajectory despite the current crisis in the semiconductor industry. As planned, the company's third production facility for calcium fluoride crystals will become operational in Jena in early September. Creating the necessary production capacity for a growing demand over the next years, the new plant enables Schott Lithotec, a subsidiary of the technology group Schott of Mainz, Germany, to underscore its global leadership position in the development and production of this key material for next-generation semiconductor chips (193 and 157 nanometer technology).
At the same time, Schott Lithotec is also engaged in two EUVL (Extreme Ultra Violett Lithography) development projects. From 2006, EUVL is expected to gradually supplant today's optical exposure method for semiconductor chips. In the future, mirrors will replace lens systems as reflecting optical elements. Schott Lithotec is preparing for this technology change in close collaboration with the research center of the Schott Group and by participating in the German EUVL project, which is sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Research, and in the European EXTUMASK program. Both projects focus on the development of suitable EUVL materials and the necessary mask blanks.